Starbucks to set up first location in Norway next year

Though Starbucks is ubiquitous in North America, parts of Europe and now Asia, only recently has the global chain turned their eye northward to Norway, where the coffee company announced it would be opening its first store early next year.

With Norway having one of the highest per capita consumption rates of coffee in the world, it was only a matter of time before the premium coffee shop would establish a presence there. The company announced last week that it would be opening its first location at Oslo Airport in early 2012.

According to figures cited by Euromonitor, coffee is the most popular "folkedrikke"  - or people's drink - in the country, as Norwegians consume the equivalent of about 9.5 kg of dry coffee per person a year.

By comparison, Americans drink 4.2 kg per capita of coffee a year; the French drink 5.4 kg a year; and Italians consume 5.9 kg per capita, based on 2008 numbers by the World Resources Institute. Norway is second only to Finland, where residents drink 12 kg of coffee per person a year.

The cold climate, long and dark winters are primary factors for driving Norwegians to drink coffee several times a day: in 2009, 45,000 tons of coffee was consumed in that country.

Currently, the Norwegian coffee market is dominated by domestic labels that include brands like Kaffehuset Friele and Joh Johannson, Kjeldsberg and multinational brand Nestlé.

Friele has been supplying Norwegians with coffee since 1799. Their most popular brand is the Friele Frokost Kaffe.